I don’t suffer from autism. You do.

2 04 2012

I don’t suffer from autism, I suffer from people’s unwillingness to accept difference in the human race. I don’t suffer autism, You do.

So today is World Autism Awareness Day and of course the media feel the need to recognise it in its own inimitable way. The Guardian for example have pictures of kids at a SEN school with descriptions of typical autistic traits underneath. Is it in pictures because we cannot read? Does it simplify autism for us or does it simplify the whole thing for you? Only just a bit* (*majorly) patronising, but as someone on twitter said, “it raises awareness for the poor souls”. This is the part of the problem, it is assumed people with autism are poor souls for being different to the neurotypical population. It also often assumed by the media, autistic people are all the same with the same behaviours and the same traits, it ignores the fact there is a spectrum or any individuality within that spectrum, just the same as neurotypical humans. The media perpetuates this ‘poor soul’ myth by talking of our “suffering a condition” that is in fact a neurodevelopmental difference. Medically they call it a disorder because it does not fit into the neurotypical view of normality.  What is normal anyway?

Much of the suffering of people with autism arises by being forced to conform to the alleged norms of a neurotypical society. Because our “disability” isn’t one that can be easily seen, it doesn’t have the same social sympathy factor as someone with no legs in a wheelchair. Indeed often most sympathy I see is directed towards long-suffering parents. And therein lies the reality of “suffering autism”. The parents and carers, the neurotypicals, they have to suffer autism. The parental desperation for the autistic person to be “normal” and to fit into or embrace their way of life causes the suffering. Asking or forcing people who have their own way of doing things to ignore their natural compulsion and live to your unnatural standards is what causes the problems. Shoehorning any human being into a box that not designed for them is problematic, regardless of the label you wish to apply to them. Leave an autistic person to live life as they wish, in the manner they wish and they’re happy as can be. No meltdowns. The parents and carers aren’t quite so happy leaving them be though are they? We send autistic people to behavioural therapy or crave treatment to make them fit in with neurotypical life. There is no recovery. Treatment means behave more like a neurotypical person. It denies the autistic person the right to be just who they are. We are telling people with autism they are wrong the way nature intended them and to conform to the neurotypical ideal.

Of course life doesn’t allow for people to live however they wish. How dare we even contemplate letting someone live a life that is so inherently different to that which is understood by neurotypicals. We all must conform. We must all be the same; same clothes, same hairdo, same thought pattern, same tv, same car, same semi-detached house.

Could it be that the neurotypical community have it wrong? Perhaps the idea of rejecting social conformity needs to be embraced among the neurotypical community. In fact it seems to me this is where the biggest problem lies. Neurotypicals are so desperate everyone must conform to their ideals, that they can’t see the damage they are doing to themselves and society as a whole by shunning their own individuality.

I don’t want to conform. Long before I?d even heard of autism, I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I knew I was different, they knew I was different, there was a happy status quo, they didn’t want me being like them, I had absolutely no desire to be like them. Neurotypicals live in a cluttered complex world. Subtle nuance replaces upfront. Body language may reveal a truth that their words leave behind. Maybe if more neurotypicals tried to live in an autistic world, there would be a lot less bullshit. Imagine it; no spin, only common sense, honesty? you can’t imagine it though can you? You don’t want to try to imagine living in an autistic world and instead it is expected to force an autistic person to live in a neurotypical world. A world that is alien to us. A world that is confusing, if only because you make it needlessly so.

Is this my utopian ideal? Yeah of course it is. My opinion, my utopia, but it is no less utopian than the expectations of the neurotypical community that we can and will, or even want to, just fit in with their way of life. It is assumed  that we all want to but cannot. Have you even considered that some autistic people just don’t want to live and be like you? Could it be so?

 

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*guest post* East Dunbartonshire Council and Freedom of Information Requests

18 06 2011

I have the authors full permission to reproduce this email, as is. Instead of backstory, I’ve created links within the email to the relevant discussions or posts.

Dear *Grumpyhatlady*,

Just thought I’d update you on my problem with East Dunbartonshire Council and the passport to leisure scheme.

As you’ll recall, I initially raised an issue regarding East Dunbartonshire Council’s policy on disabled people being refused entry to their sport centre without their carer… I made a freedom of information request in the hope to get some answers from them.

SURPRISE!

They didn’t reply beyond acknowledgment. I gave them plenty of opportunity to reply and in the end had to request an internal review.

SURPRISE!

They didn’t reply to that beyond acknowledgement either.

I’m now having to submit an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

And wouldn’t you know,

SURPRISE!

When I made an FOI request about how East Dunbartonshire Council deal with freedom of information requests, they have delayed the response beyond acknowledgement for that too. Internal review will be requested by the end of next week.

Now I know they’re answering other requests as the website shows the successful ones. I can’t believe it would be that much hassle to reply with a simple refusal email.

If you or any of your blog readers have any information or advice for me, please let me know.

Yours sincerely

***** *******

———–

So there you have it. East Dunbartonshire Council are refusing simple FOI requests without so much as a reason. Can anyone offer help or advice to this guest poster? Either comment or email me at yahoo dot com.





Who really has the sexual power?

28 04 2011

**Guest Post by @ohrosiejones**

This whole sexual equality malarkey has ruined what it really means to be a woman. Both male and female humans come in various shapes and sizes, and levels of intellect, but they are far from equal and it is about time we all accepted that. Women are becoming confused as to where their place is in the grander scheme of things. They want it all and they want the choice to have none of it. They want to be strong and independent but complain that chivalry is dead. While both sexes are free to express feminine and masculine attributes- women have one thing men do not. Most do not realise how much power they hold and while they fight for complete equality they lose more and more of this power.

Allow me to let you into a little secret- women enjoy using their sexuality as a tool in life. I know, shocking right? Well it is true- take Italian Prime Minister and professional dirty old man, Silvio Berlusconi. He has been at the mercy of women for probably his whole life and now it has gotten him into a heap of trouble. Italian women are baying for his blood and why? Because he is a man who cannot control himself when confronted with a beautiful woman who doesn’t mind having sex with him for a shit load of cash. There is a fuzzy moral line between who is being exploited, and whether it really matters…

The power women have over men, and sometimes other women, is incomparable and almost always under estimated by themselves. Those who spit venomous words about Page 3 girls and other such glamour professionals are, to coin a cliché, jealous. We all wish we could harness our sexuality as they do but those who cannot have this resentment building up until it explodes into a 4 page rant about glamour modelling, pornography and even erotic photography being degrading to women.

Well, tiny, lacy pants to them!

Women should let go of that old bra-burning rage and embrace the fact that they are the softer, sexier, sensual side of the human race. With birds the males are the seducers with their plumage and attention seeking chirrups, lions and stags are majestic and grand compared to their plainer female counter parts; human females need to face up to the fact that they are the seducers and there is nothing wrong with that. To be a seducer you must be the beautiful one, the smarter one, the one with the power to get what you want- be it a job, a mate or the last cupcake. Women- as well as being as smart and as witty as you are; flutter your lashes, present your cleavage and smile sweetly to get ahead, to express yourself, and to ensnare a mate.

There is no shame in it. It is nature at it’s best, and you cannot fight Mother Nature- she is a woman, after all.





Twitter: after the love is gone *Guest Post*

28 04 2011

**Guest post by @furiousgerbil**

They definitely said I would get a free poppadom!

A Poppadomless Furious Gerbil

 

Sorry, Twitter, I don?t love you anymore

(Or, it?s not you, it?s me. Actually it?s you. Definitely you)

I?m a reasonable man, I really am. On second thoughts, I?m not. But that?s not the point is it.

I?ve only been on Twitter  a short while ? since January ? and I think it?s great, I really do, but I?ve noticed a disturbing trend in Twitterland (I?ve just made that up and I don?t like it. It?s twee. Please don?t use it)

Twitter, like any other realm of human activity has its fair share of bell-ends but for some reason I tend to notice them more on Twitter. Let me explain who I?m referring to. Badly.

Dick Wavers. No, this isn?t the name of an American actor in one of those 50?s western TV shows (Although it should be) These are people on Twitter who wear their follower count as a badge of honour and use it as an excuse to be very, very rude. Dick wavers are people ? mainly, but not solely, men ? who have a couple of thousand followers and see it as an excuse to ignore any messages from people they deem to be unimportant i.e. those with fewer followers than themselves.  I have seen people send them messages, very funny or kind messages only for them to be ignored completely. The dick waver has then replied to a message from a ?star? that was unfunny. But they were a ?star? and that?s what counts. I don?t hold with the argument that people get so many messages that they can?t reply to them all, there is clear evidence that they trawl their messages and only reply to ones that they think will improve their status or follower count (In their eyes, often the same thing)

When I first started using Twitter I made the mistake of following ?celebrities? and routinely got ignored by them. This is the worst type of discrimination: the type against me.  I?ve stopped following celebrities now, all but a few. ?Ordinary? people are much more fun anyway. I?m lucky enough to have a few hundred followers and I still try to reply to every single message I get. Even the weirdos. And there are lots of weirdos.

When I did follow ?celebrities? I followed a very well known female comedian. She messaged me. She slagged of my little bio thingy then proceeded to question how I?d got the followers I had. How rude can you get!! For me, Twitter is supposed to be fun. It?s not an extension of my job, I have a very nice job, thank you, I don?t need Twitter to be an indication of how popular I am. And, no, I won?t tell you who she is. She?d probably enjoy the publicity. Anyway. I?m not rude. I?m better than she is.

Twitter is supposed to be fun. A laugh. There are people I follow and who follow me that, for some reason ? be it illness or circumstance ? cannot get out and about as much as many of us more able and lucky ones can. Twitter is a lifeline. Anyone who reads my tweets will see, I hope, that I try to be amusing. I try to cheer people up. I?m sure people know I?m not the bin-kicking drunk I appear on Twitter.

Have I fallen a bit out of love with Twitter? Yes, it has a dark side. Will I leave Twitter? No, of course I bloody won?t.

Anyway. Rant over. I?m drunk, I?m naked.  Let?s go and kick some bins!!

Furious Gerbil.

 





George Michael Rant *Guest Post*

28 04 2011

**Guest Rant by @R_B_Bastard**

A picture of george michael wearing sunglasses

should've stuck to Wham!

Don?t fucking tell me that everyone?s entitled to their own opinion.  Did you even hear that latest George Michael release?  He took one of the best pop-electronica songs of the 1980?s – New Order?s ?True Faith? – got it stoned, drove it headlong into Snappy Snaps, lured it into a public lavatory and shoved his cock up its arse until it sounded like Stephen Hawking with a fucked battery in his voice simulator.

It was fucking dreadful.

There?s no excuse for music like that.  Don?t try to argue with me or I?ll rip out your emotionally retarded heart with a pair of salad servers, squeeze it into your CD drive in place of the fucking Lighthouse Family?s Greatest Hits and then press play by hurling what?s left of your lifeless body against the stereo.

You want to listen to jumped-up lift music?  Then do so in the privacy of your car (probably a Lexus) and make sure you keep the windows closed, so that my fucking oxygen isn?t polluted by the blandness of your digitalised limp rhythms.

George Michael has a great voice, I admit.  But rather than marvel at his voice, we should instead marvel at how he?s managed to remain in the public eye for so long, when he churns out, on an irregular basis, the same soul-less, personality-devoid bland load of old shit that?s so bad it makes me actually LIKE WHAM!

Oh I know why he?s still famous?(back to paragraph one)





Monday Bills *Guest Post*

27 04 2011

**Guest Post**

MONDAY MORNING ON BENEFITS _ WITH ALL THE WORRIES.

Imagine someone waking up monday morning , on benefits, feeling a bit crap due to illness, and thinking out loud, commentating to YOU:

I am Up – Kettles gone clunk.

So excuse me whilst I fill the cafetierre.

G’mornin BTW.

Did you know Tesco shuts Sunday Night here. So i’m asking myself what fikkin time it open? Is it open yet? I need some co-dydramol as soon as poss. I hope its soon.

Oh did i tell you yet its Money today oh that means Bills Today. Do you ever get that feeling?

I’m telling you! TV Licence payments are a frikkin joke at around 14 pound a month
And Water Rates include CHARGING you for collecting the water from the roof when it rains? Ludicrous. Water?A charge for WATER?Cant ever believe that.

So Welcome to the fortnightly bill payments by arrangements day for me, on Fortnightly benefits.

Have Internet/Phone to pay so I can stay in touch and stay sane, Service charges, Water , Telly, Electric, Food, Will leave me with less than 40 quid for the fortnight for all else. Can you live on that?

Might treat myself to a visit to “The Charity shop” see if theres a 4 quid treat or something.
Did you know also at the moment i’m also paying out for painkillers- cos i was tired and fell over.

Can I ask you what would happen if I needed , Say a couple of plates etc? Or A new hoover? Would you say No chance? I would.
I will have to imagine being invited somewhere – but if I was, being proud, I’d turn it down. Cant afford it.

Its same all the time. Just get minimalistic stuff and hibernate. Cant afford not to. People dont realise how absolutely restrictive it is. Oh life was so different once. i wont bore you with a dream sequence.else I’d cry.

I shant bore you anymore, so carry on.

…..That rant was brought to you by “An active mind” and “Aricaba Coffee” on a stressful monday morning.

 

— this was posted as is, no amendments to spelling or grammar —





A Mini-Rant – phone contract *Guest Post*

27 04 2011

**Guest Post**

A Mini – Rant.

Do you think its fair?
All these guys getting approvals and running companies and not paying taxes and making fortunes and defrauding stuff everyday are dishonest.

CONTRAST:
I’m honest

And THIS I wanted, just a simple thing, not millions of quids of fraud or anything:

2000 minutes (anytime, any network)
plus 5000 texts and
All-you-can eat Data
and 5000 Three-to-Three minutes
free Voicemail and 6 months Free Spotify Premium
contract at £35 a month for 24 months with a Nokia N8 phone,

BUT they WONT give ME ME ME ME ME LITTLE ME a credit contract. BUT I CAN AFFORD IT-
THAT FUCKING SUCKS.

I should put a pic of a Nokia N8: <<< Here >>> BUT I WONT!

FOR FUCKS SAKE! Perhaps I should apply for a Rolls Royce or something, might have better luck.